'Mind the Gaps'
The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation was formed three years ago in response to pressures from two sides.
On one there are more than 400 charities serving the Royal Borough and its huge economic and social gaps, and on the other, a relatively wealthy cohort of local residents and businesses who are potentially generous, but know nothing about local needs or the charities serving them.
Some of the gaps in our borough are shocking.
We have the highest incomes and property values in the UK, yet 31% of privately owned properties do not meet government Decent Homes Standards.
At nearly 85, we have the highest average life expectancy in the UK, yet in certain of our northern wards it is only 73. And so I could go on.
But there are many wonderful charities doing amazing work to address issues of lonely older people, youth without prospects or hope, dysfunctional families, the disabled, health, sport, education, homelessness, the environment and the arts.
In the process they make life better for us all.
We call them the borough's best kept secret - hardly anyone knows about them.
Since we set out to change all this, local residents and businesses have responded enthusiastically.
In just over three years, we have raised over £600,000 and have made grants to 25 charities, but there is much more to do.
For example, we will shortly launch the Winter Warmth campaign, encouraging those who can afford to do so to donate the Winter Fuel Payments they receive automatically to a fund for local older people living in fuel poverty.
Shamingly, Kensington and Chelsea has a fuel poverty rate 50% higher than the rest of London. As prices soar and temperatures plunge this winter, many isolated older people will suffer.
Watch this space next month for our results.
For more details, visit www.thekandcfoundation.com.
Hesletine, published in the K&C Foundation Column of the Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle, 2nd December 2011